Electric cars generally have higher list prices than petrol and diesel equivalents because they are produced in smaller numbers and use newer, more expensive technology. That, of course, translates to higher monthly lease rates, but they aren’t completely unaffordable. We found a personal lease for a Renault Zoe for £201 per month on What Car? Leasing and a Nissan Leaf for £202.
How much does it cost to run an electric car?
This is where electric cars really come into their own because it’s possible to fully charge one at a domestic or workplace charging point – generally the cheapest places to top up – for less than £5, and if your employer soaks up the cost then it’s effectively free.
Public charging points are generally more expensive; prices can vary depending on the operator, the type of charger and the time you spend charging, but it isn’t unrealistic to pay between £10 and £20 for a full charge.
How much does it cost to buy & run a petrol car by comparison?
Though electric cars are generally more expensive to buy, they usually work out cheaper than an equivalent petrol or diesel in the long run, especially if you use them regularly. We’ve already mentioned the lower running costs, but you don’t have to pay road tax if you have a full-electric car with zero CO2 emissions and a list price of less than £40,000.
EVs also have fewer moving parts so there are less items to replace or repair, which means servicing costs are lower. In many cases, EVs have stronger residual values than petrol and diesel equivalents, so they may be worth more in future. If you’re still not sure, What Car?’s Fuel Comparison tool can help you work out whether an electric car is suitable for you based on your personal circumstances.
Can I benefit from any government grants?
Yes, you can. The government will pay £3,500 towards the cost of any car with CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km that can travel at least 70 miles without creating any emissions. That almost completely limits it to full-electric cars for now, so plug-in hybrids are generally ineligible for the grant. You can also get up to £500 or up to 75% towards the cost of installing an electric car charging point at your home, but this only applies to more modern ‘smart chargers’.